Set Up Windows Vista to Connect to a Wireless Network

By Andy Rathbone

After you’ve set up your wireless network, you must tell Windows Vista to connect to it. You begin to connect to a wireless network from Vista’s Start menu.

To connect to a wireless network, either your own or one in a public place, follow these steps:

1Turn on your wireless adapter, if necessary.

Some computers automatically launch the wireless adapter, so this step isn’t required.

2Choose Connect To from the Start menu.

Windows lists all the wireless networks it finds within range. Don’t be surprised to see several networks listed. Vista sums up each available connection three ways: by name, security, and signal strength.

3Connect to the desired network by clicking its name and clicking Connect.

If you spot your network’s name, click it and then click the Connect button.

If you don’t spot your network’s name, head to Step 6.

4Choose whether you’re connecting from Home, Work, or a Public Location.

When you connect, Vista asks you whether you’re connecting from Home, Work, or a Public Location so that it can add the right layer of security.

5Enter a password, if needed, and click Connect.

Don’t see your wireless network’s name? Then move to Step 6.

6Connect to an unlisted network.

If Vista doesn’t list your wireless network’s name, two culprits may be involved: low signal strength or, for security, the network is hidden.

7Click a wireless network listed as Unnamed Network and click Connect.

When asked, enter the network’s name (SSID) and, if required, its password, described in Step 5. After Vista knows the network’s real name and password, Vista will connect.